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Reflecting on the Departure of a Design Icon: Jony Ive and the Legacy of Apple Design


On June 27, 2019, 9to5Mac reported that Jony Ive, the renowned Apple design chief, announced his departure from the company after spending 25 years shaping the iconic look and feel of Apple products. This news not only marked the end of an era for Apple but also raised questions about the future direction of the company's design philosophy.

Jony Ive's Impact on Apple

Jony Ive joined Apple in 1992 and quickly became a visionary force behind the company's design ethos. From the colorful iMacs to the sleek iPhones, Ive's influence on Apple's product design has been undeniable. His attention to detail, minimalist aesthetic, and focus on creating products that seamlessly blend form and function have made him a design icon in the tech industry.

Under Ive's leadership, Apple's design language became synonymous with simplicity, elegance, and innovation. Whether it was the iconic click wheel of the iPod or the seamless aluminum unibody of the MacBook, each product design reflected Ive's meticulous approach to creating user-friendly, visually striking devices.

The Impact of Ive's Departure

The departure of Jony Ive from Apple was not just a significant event for the company; it also had a ripple effect across the design and technology communities. Ive's departure signaled a shift in the leadership and creative direction of Apple's design team, causing many to speculate about the future of the company's product design.

According to 9to5Mac, Ive's old design team has undergone significant changes since his departure, with reports indicating that the team has been "almost entirely dissolved." This news has sparked conversations about how Apple's design philosophy may evolve in the post-Ive era.

The Evolution of Apple's Design Team

As Jony Ive's influence on Apple's design team waned, questions arose about who would take the helm and lead the company's design vision forward. Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, reassured employees and customers that the company's design team remained strong and committed to upholding the standards of excellence set by Ive.

However, the departure of such a prominent figure inevitably led to speculation about the future direction of Apple's design language. Would the company continue to prioritize simplicity and elegance in its product designs, or would it venture into new design territories under new leadership?

The Next Chapter in Apple's Design Story

With Jony Ive's departure and the reorganization of the design team, Apple faced a pivotal moment in its design history. In the absence of Ive's guiding hand, the company had the opportunity to redefine its design approach and chart a new course for its future products.

In the aftermath of Ive's departure, Apple made leadership changes within its design team. Evans Hankey and Alan Dye, both longtime collaborators of Ive, were appointed as the new heads of industrial and human interface design, respectively. These appointments signaled a deliberate effort by Apple to maintain continuity while also injecting new perspectives into the design leadership.

The Legacy of Jony Ive

As the dust settled on Jony Ive's departure and Apple's design team reformation, it became clear that his impact on the company's products and culture would endure. Ive's legacy as an innovative and influential design leader extended far beyond the products he helped create; it also shaped the culture of design at Apple and influenced the broader design community.

Ive's departure prompted reflection on his contributions to the design world, inspiring many to revisit his iconic work and consider the lasting impact of his design philosophy. His emphasis on simplicity, attention to detail, and relentless pursuit of perfection had left an indelible mark not only on Apple's products but on the entire design industry.

The Future of Apple Design

With the reorganization of the design team and the appointments of new leaders, Apple's design future appeared to be a combination of continuity and evolution. The company remained committed to its core design principles while embracing the opportunity to explore new creative directions.

As the industry eagerly awaited the unveiling of Apple's future products, the design community continued to speculate about the company's next moves. Would the post-Ive era usher in a new wave of design innovation at Apple, or would the company stay true to the design language established during Ive's tenure?

The Ongoing Impact of Jony Ive

In the years following Jony Ive's departure, his influence on the design world remained palpable. His innovative approach to product design, emphasis on user experience, and relentless pursuit of excellence continued to inspire designers and creators across industries.

Ive's departure from Apple had prompted widespread discussions about the role of design in shaping the future of technology and the importance of maintaining a focus on user-centric design. His departure served as a reminder of the profound impact a visionary designer could have on an organization and the broader design community.


The departure of Jony Ive from Apple marked the end of a significant chapter in the company's design history. His influence on Apple's products, design philosophy, and the broader design industry cannot be overstated. As the company forged ahead in the post-Ive era, it remained committed to upholding the standards of excellence and innovation that Ive had instilled in its design culture.

As the design community continued to reflect on Ive's legacy and the future of Apple's design, it became clear that his impact on the industry would endure for years to come. His departure may have signaled a new chapter for Apple's design, but it also served as a poignant reminder of the enduring power of visionary design leadership.

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